10/30/10

Depth Gone, Even Strengh Scoring Not Happening, Slumps Expected

New York Islander Fan Central | 10/30/2010 05:04:00 AM


Of course, they could have bounced a few past Alex Auld Friday.

Matt Moulson could have scored on his breakaway, Tavares was robbed, Weight took the puck at the net like he was ten years younger than his birth certificate, however that's not the point, it's about building something for the long-term here.

Enough opposing coaches/players credited the Islanders hard work last year or being a tough team to play.

When you think of how this club was on special teams a year ago, the pp has been a fantastic trend so far.

The starts to games, the even strength scoring are all alarmingly poor trends for more than a few weeks now.

Rick DiPietro starts Saturday.

Scott Gordon was surprisingly upbeat in his post-game press conference after a third straight loss Friday here which Cablevision promised to show but eventually decided not to wait for and after a while cut the telecast off so Msg+2 could show it's test pattern.

New York again did not start a game well at all, not only on the scoreboard, but in terms of creating chances, it's a trend that has lasted quite a while and very noticeable.

It's been a different than a year ago (not counting injuries) however the trends/NHL averages/player careers suggest the pp was not going to carry them for eighty two games. Tavares is not going to be a goal a game player, Doug Weight, James Wisniewski are not going to make a run at a hundred points.

This means others have to step up, and fast. Travis Moen looked like a superstar driving the net for two huge goals in back to back games.

Paging Jon Sim/Trent Hunter/Zeon Konopka.

I maintain Blake Comeau has not been the same player since he was banged up repeatedly in games, or does not have the extra step. Josh Bailey has looked pedestrian (granted only two games) where before he looked like a first line center in how he was playing in all three zones.

With Bridgeport getting a rare weekend off, Rob Schremp either waits in Ct for Wednesday or returns to New York. If Gordon maintains his stance from a year ago that Schremp must play center, Bailey is moving back to wing.

What if Bailey needs to play center to be as dominating as he was?

So much for depth.
Milan Jurcina was injured Friday against Montreal and is out for Saturday. This means Bruno Gervais has his full time spot back on defense, Trevor Gillies likely goes back into the lineup vs Philadelphia.

Time to start reversing the trends, the 6-1 losses/poor games all teams have over eighty two contests are also one of the trends due to happen soon.

The even strength scoring is overdue, so is a sixty minute effort.

Things have to start balancing out, regulation losing streaks cannot happen in this league if you expect to be a playoff team.

Bottom line in an eighty two game season there are x nights you are going to be the better team and win or play just well enough to steal points, or the team is going to have a clunker and lose big.

It's what teams do in those other games up for grabs that separate the contenders and pretenders.

Six points/three games were just lost that were clearly on the table for this team to win, they got none of them.

Successful teams find a way to win those points, this team must do the same thing.

Don't count on another year of three clubs under ninety points making the playoffs from this conference, last year was the exception, not the rule.

There are trends to be broken all over Philadelphia on Saturday for Scott Gordon's players.

-NY Times: Dave Caldwell was allowed to do a feature on Zeon Konopka, but not cover the game.

The Times did not cover the game at Cablevision Garden vs Carolina Friday.

-Oregon Live: Nino Niederreiter had an assist in Portland's 4-2 win over Kelowna Friday.

NYIFC Comments:
The local paper that covers the Winterhawks is on NYIFC prospect blog for those who would like to follow Nino Niederreiter's game by game progress.



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